patient having her teeth examined

What happens during a root canal?

The first thing that happens before the root canal begins is a local anesthetic is injected into the gums near the tooth to completely numb the area. Next, the infected tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth must be removed through a small hole that is created at the top of the tooth. Once the dental pulp has been cleared out, the inside of the tooth will be carefully cleaned before it is sealed. The root canal treatment is complete at this point, but a dental crown must be placed to protect and support the tooth so it doesn’t incur more damage.

illustration of the cross-section of a tooth

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Infections do not always come with noticeable symptoms, which is why it’s important to always visit our office twice per year for a dental exam. However, if you happen to notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend reaching out to our office, as these can be indications that a root canal is needed.

  • Sudden gum or tooth pain
  • Tenderness or swelling in one area
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Gum sores (abscesses)
man holding his jaw in pain while looking at his computer

Are root canals painful?

Root canals have a reputation for being very uncomfortable, painful procedures. This is because root canal therapy was a painful treatment in the past, but now thanks to modern medicine and advancements in dentistry, root canals are not painful treatments. If you are still nervous about receiving a root canal or you just want to feel more relaxed during your visit, our office provides several different types of dental sedation that can make your appointment fly by. To learn more, please contact our office or visit our dental sedation page.

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